Keltbray signs NMCN’s contract for £50m Leeds highway scheme

The M621 in south Leeds

The M621 in south Leeds

Keltbray is main contractor for National Highways’ improvement works on the M621 between junctions 1 and 7 Scheme on behalf of National Highways.

The works are designed to add capacity to the M621, which is an urban motorway through the district of Leeds. The route runs from Junction 27 of the M62 to Junction 43 of the M1.

NMCN was awarded a £28m contract for the scheme in 2019 and had been expecting to start in 2020. NMCN subsequently collapsed and went out of business. In October 2021 Keltbray bought the infrastructure business of NMCN out of administration, taking on a parcel of contracts, including this one, and 117 employees.

Project budget was £40.9m last summer but has since gone up to £49.8m.

It has taken until now for Keltbray to be formally signed up for the contract. Main construction works are starting in August 2022 and are expected to run until summer-2024.

Works will include the construction of additional lanes for vehicles to use at the junction 2 roundabout and junction 3 westbound, as well as between junctions 1 and 3 by converting two short sections of hard shoulder into an additional lane for traffic. In addition to this, Keltbray and National Highways will be changing junction 3 westbound to give priority to the main M621 traffic, allowing it to flow more freely. Improvements at this junction will also remove conflicts where the traffic merges in this area, closing the westbound exit slip road of junction 2a to reduce the risk of collisions resulting from the short distance between junctions 3 and 2a. Sensor and camera technology will also be installed between Junctions 1 and 7 to detect incidents and respond to them more quickly.

Phill Price, managing director for infrastructure at Keltbray, said: “This contract award marks a significant step forward for Keltbray in developing its highways business into a leading national provider.”

Keltbray has mostly operated  as a subcontractor until now, notably in groundworks and demolition, but its growth over the years has seen it steadily enhance its self-delivery capabilities.

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